Published on July 13 by MSG Networks
FIZDALE: “It doesn’t get better than throwing out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium at Yankees-Red Sox. Are you kidding me, man? That’s as good as it gets right there. I’m sitting here talking to [Aaron] Judge, Giancarlo [Stanton] and these dudes could play for me. That’s some big dudes. But that was like, ‘Wow, I’m really doing this right now.’ That brought it all into perspective. This is really happening right now.
So that was probably the coolest thing that I’ve done so far. I just want to go eat at every different restaurant. That’s what I want to do. I just want to go restaurant hopping in New York because it’s unbelievable how many great restaurants there are.”
FIZDALE: “Yeah, we talked. We WhatsApp all the time and check in on each other. And my wife and I are flying out in two weeks to go spend a week with him and his family.”
What have you got garnered from your WhatsApp conversations?
FIZDALE: “Excitement. He likes exactly what I’m talking about from the standpoint of style of play. The fact that I won’t lock him into any position, that I’ll always try to put him in a position of success, that I’m going to challenge him to be an MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. I think he really likes the idea of the way I operate, how I’m going to hold guys accountable to a strict level. He likes the sound of that.
So, our conversations have been great. Every time we do something team-buildingwise, I always make sure that I hit him up and send him a picture, a film or whatever it is. He can’t get here for that, but I want him to still feel [he’s a part of it]. It’s been a good building process.”
Juwan Howard Jr. emailed Fizdale in the spring from Luxembourg after his father hadn’t said boo to him about rejoining the Heat’s summer team for a third whirl. The elder Howard coached his son in one of those summers and called it “a dream come true.’’
But this time, Howard Jr. got the hint.
“I needed to take my career upon myself and I think he’s happy I took the initiative,’’ Howard Jr. told The Post at the Knicks’ hotel. “I just emailed him my bio and stats, what I did this year and he responded, ‘Let me talk to my people.’ ”
The invitation came soon after, and as a result, all 30 NBA teams will get another look at Howard Jr., who hasn’t given up the fight. One of his hopes is an invite to the G-League Westchester Knicks.
Q: Scott Perry says his Orlando experience taught him to have veterans around a young team. You don’t have many vets. Concerned about that?
Fizdale: “We’ve talked about it. There’s still a possibility, there’s still time to do some things and plug some gaps with some quality leadership and veteran leadership. But at the same time you gotta be right with that. You can’t bring in a guy who is looking for more than we can give. Because that could end up tearing your locker room apart.
So we’re going to be real specific with who we surround these kids with. Make sure they’re quality people, high character guys who come every day and do their job. Guys that aren’t trying to eat the young, and try to put people around that’s going to help develop these guys.”
LAS VEGAS — #Knicks coach David Fizdale talks about Emmanuel Mudiay and his evaluation of the point guard's time in New York. "I think a lot of that of it was just uncertainty. You’re going to a new team, you don’t want to ruffle any feathers. You’re already little insecure because it didn’t work out where you were at. So I think a combination of all stuff had him playing a little tight where he didn’t want to make mistakes."
David Fizdale will visit Kristaps Porzingis in Latvia about a week after Summer League ends and will watch tape with him there. The coach has already created a cache of plays for Porzingis to watch, broken down and dissected, pulling from how Jeff Hornacek used him in New York to plays of how Fizdale has used players in Memphis, all trying to show how Fizdale imagines Porzingis will play with the Knicks when he returns from his torn ACL. Fizdale thinks that film sessions will account for a good amount of his time there when he visits.
“He’s going to get tired of me,” he said. “But about two of those days over there we’re going to watch film in Latvia because I got so much stuff I’ve broken down and pulled.”
David Fizdale said he’s not penciling in anyone as starters yet, not even Tim Hardaway Jr. and Enes Kanter, even though it’s a safe bet they will start. Kristaps Porzingis would start if he weren’t sidelined indefinitely after tearing his ACL. But Fizdale, entering his first season as Knicks coach, wants each player to show him something and earn his job.
“I’m not even going to touch it yet,” Fizdale said after summer league practice Wednesday. “I’m going to let them clash over it. I don’t know what’s going to be best for this group right now. I don’t want to guarantee anybody anything because it totally contradicts the culture. Everything is about you keep what you kill. I want them to go out with a killer attitude and go into training camp trying to earn anything.”
Knicks coach David Fizdale invited Frank Ntilikina to his hotel room Wednesday morning for breakfast and basketball.
They pored over film of Tuesday’s first summer-league practice, Fizdale showing the 19-year-old Frenchman, among other things, where he could have been more aggressive.
“The system will help him,’’ Fizdale said after an Independence Day practice. “The film work will help him. Me constantly showing him here’s an opportunity. You’d be surprised when we go back through the film, even he wasn’t aware of times when he just came down and just passed it. And he’s looking at an ocean of paint in front of him where he can go attack. That’s just his nature.”
David Fizdale elaborates on what he means by “positionless” basketball, using his time in Miami as an example.
“Chris Bosh would take it off the glass and push it. Our best post-up players was our two wings (Wade and James), so we started figuring out, wait a minute, we can’t just call these guys a wing, a big — whatever the situation calls for, if you can do it, that’s what you become.
“So if you rebound it, you’re the point guard. If you’re the first guy down, you’re the big man. We we started screwing it up in Miami and getting it right and screwing it up and tinkering with it to a point where we felt like we built something pretty good from a position-less standpoint.”
And now he’s trying to lay this philosophy on the new young Knicks. Selecting 6-foot-9 Kevin Knox, a new-age prototype combo forward, was partly on Fizdale’s urging. Adding in free agency another combo forward in Mario Hezonja, Fizdale indicated, also fit that mold, even though Knicks GM Scott Perry is very aware of the underachieving Hezonja’s flaws from their Orlando days.
David Fizdale probably won’t be in a gym with the rookies next summer but jetting across the country when Fizdale anticipates “some big moves.”
“For sure,” Fizdale said when asked if he’ll be busier in July 2019. “We knew coming into this July there wasn’t a lot of money to spend, we wanted to be real strategic with who we went after and if it fit the kind of guys we wanted to have here.
“I felt like we’ve done that and now we can just lock in, get into the group we have, start developing these guys, growing these guys, let them go through the ups and downs. And as we get our culture in place, [Kristaps Porzingis] gets healthy, we start moving into next summer, I really feel like we’ll have the bricks in place to make some big moves.”
The Knicks beat several teams — including Portland, Sacramento and Memphis — because of Hezonja’s belief in coach David Fizdale and confidence that he can earn a significant role on the court for New York. He had five coaches in four seasons with Orlando.
via Ian Begley, ESPN
By Jared Hamburg
A glaring lack of athleticism plagued the Knicks last season. Can they flip the script and throw out a sneakily athletic team this season?
Trey Burke describes the voluntary workouts he has been participating in with David Fizdale and a group of Knicks that includes Frank Ntilikina, Damyean Dotson, Emmanuel Mudiay, Troy Williams, Isaiah Hicks, and Luke Kornet.
As transcribed by Ian Begley:
“We’ll lift first—if we’re not lifting, we’ll hit the track with Bar (trainer Mubarak Malik) and Shimon (Ishakawa).”
“After that we’ll hit the court. Stretch.”
“Then [Fizdale] has us doing all of our finishes, he has us doing all of the stuff with footwork. We’ll literally be there for the first 45 minutes of the workout. We’ll literally be in there for almost an hour just focusing on layups. Just focusing on getting our feet right and shots in the paint, in the middle, fundamentally sound things.”
“And then we’ll move into concepts. He’ll have us doing drills to where this guy slides to the corner and I’m going baseline and I’m hitting him and I have to back out into three. That guy at the top of the key. He has to do something and then we’ll have to rotate. But it’s fast. You have to use your mind. Mentally you have to be locked in.”
“We’ll go from that then we’ll go into something defensive. Our defensive concepts are totally different than what they were last year. So it’s new to all of us. Just learning to get on the same page defensively because we weren’t doing these things last year. Their system is different than what we saw 6-7 months ago.”
“And then by the end of practice, he’ll probably have us doing something competitive where it’s like, two dribbles one on one. Or he’ll have us to one dribble one on one where it’s like guys are just out there lining each other up. And you really have to use the stuff we were just working on to get a good shot off. And everybody’s getting evaluated and that’s the fun part.”
Trey Burke about his early impressions of David Fizdale. “Initially I thought it would be great because of word of mouth. You hear a certain amount of people say he’ll be great, he’ll be good for this team – this and that – there has to be some truth to it,” Burke said before working with kids a the newly renovated gym at Nord Anglia International School.
“I didn’t know Fizdale at the time but when I met him at the press conference all the way up until now, he’s been nothing but honest. He’s been on us hard. And those are things you need from a guy that’s going to lead an organization like the New York Knicks. It’s a heavy task and I know he wants to do well.”
Burke has attended voluntary workouts with teammates Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Troy Williams, Luke Kornet and Isaiah Hicks that are directed by Fizdale and his staff.
Burke also said he is working on his catch-and-shoot 3-pointer.
via Ian Begley, ESPN
If Enes Kanter opts-in, he will try to evolve his perimeter game like Marc Gasol did under Fizdale.
Enes Kanter: “[Fizdale] told me he wants me to stretch the floor next year by making 3’s and I’m working on it,’’ he said. “I feel more comfortable taking them and more confident. Coach Fiz wants me to start taking them. If my coach says take them, I’m not going to say no. I’ll start shooting them in practice and then in the game.”
Knicks center Enes Kanter swears he has not made a final decision on whether to opt out of his contract by Friday’s deadline, but said the addition of coach David Fizdale has made his desire to stay in New York even stronger […]
As much as Kanter said he wants to remain a Knick, he revealed his new power agent, Mark Bartelstein, has done his due diligence, and about five teams have emerged with interest in Kanter if he becomes a free agent beginning Sunday […]
“I want to be with the Knicks, but I don’t know what’s going to happen on the last day,’’ Kanter said. “Teams are calling. I want to hear what the Knicks want to do first. If they say you’re free to walk away I may just talk to other teams. But it’s Knicks first.”
[A group of Mudiay, Ntilikina, Burke, Kornet, Hicks, Williams, and Dotson] has used the time to get into a gym, playing competitive games and working on skills development. One drill Fizdale instituted has been to teach the players how to finish around the rim — a subtle art the Knicks struggled with last season. They finished 17th in the NBA in field goal percentage at the rim in 2017-18, according to Cleaning The Glass. Ntilikina was in the 34th percentile in field goal percentage at the rim, Dotson in the 42nd, and Mudiay in the 55th percentile — a jump from the woeful, bottom-fifth success he had in Denver.
“We’re doing stuff we were pretty weak at last year as a team and individuals,” Mudiay said Saturday in between sessions of a skills camp for children held at NBPA headquarters as part of Go Hoop Day. “Finishing around the basket. We do some containing drills 1-on-1. Stuff like that.”